Rob Reich is a Bay Area-based musician and composer who will play Sunday nearby in Mountain View at Rengstorff House which is an historic sight and community center near Shoreline Park and Amphitheatre (which simultaneously is hosting comebacks from the ten loudest heavy metal bands ever for twenty thousand underage drinkers, and their moms, but I digress).
I heard about this gig because the Palo Alto Weekly, in its blast and homepage, link the the show and series.
What we offer in public programming of the arts has shrunk considerably in the 18 years that I have run Earthwise Productions, a private entity that sometimes links up with the City for programming (back before the departures of Leon Kaplan, Suzanne Warren, Shia Geminder, Jackie Rose, Anne Mattolo, Richard James et al).
Rob Reich the accordion player not to be confused with Robert Reich of Berkeley, the labor writer and former Clinton administrator — although it might be interesting for the two Robert Reichs to team up to say, set to music the words and deeds of the International Workers of the World, although Wayne Horvitz, Paul Magid, Bill Frisell, Robin Holcomb and Rinde Eckert already have something like that in their “Joe Hill” project.
Palo Alto does, in its Twilight Series, have a pretty good Rolling Stones cover band that I might take in.
I would not advocate driving to SF to crash Outside Lands, although it is true that the producers of Outside Lands were on a list of concert industry stalwarts that I submitted to the City of Palo Alto economic development guy, regarding 456 University Avenue, the former Varsity Theatre, which seems destined for office space.
If you like music you can bike to Cali Ave with your family Saturday at 6:30 and to Rengstorff Sunday afternoon and see Unauthorized Rolling Stones and Rob Reich and not feel bad about missing Outside Lands, dollar for dollar pound for pound. Although obviously I feel Palo Alto could do better; probably a third of the bands at Outside Lands could or would play The Varsity, one or two at a time, if the city leadership would work with landlord and concert industry to make it happen, which they basically only gave to the matter lip service (an Elvis Costello song) rather than, if you excuse the metaphor, an AC/DC song about commitment, to the hilt.
Rob Reich works with Tin Hat, a group I booked here, into Cubberley and into the Museum of American Heritage, pre-dating his involvement with them. I followed Tin Hat Trio since the days they were called Masopust; Rob Burger, who played Cubberley in 1996 with Will Bernard Trio, opening for Medeski Martin and Wood, gave me a demo tape of Masopust. (Reich, it seems, replaces Burger).
I have never met the man but would gladly hire him for my ongoing street music project, ICO-BOPA, the International Congress of Buskers of Palo Alto. Look for him, if you don’t make it Sunday.
One last thing: as the tiniest bone to a dog, if Varsity is lost, and Arrillaga project at 27 Uni goes through, maybe if you move Julia Morgan Center building (which hosts MacArthur Park restaurant) to Palo Alto golf course at the very least it could host a concert series like they do at Rengstorff House.
edit to add, 12 minutes later, or my “anemic recovery”: maybe Rob Reich Trio can hire Robert Reich to doodle on a white board on stage behind them, and show it on a big screen, the way Galactic hired David Ellis (“Doze and SKRM”) to paint on-stage, or Rupa hired Mona Caron. Or Nels Cline and Robert Wisdom.
edit to add, Thursday the 16th: there is also a Rob Reich at Stanford, teaching poli sci; Stanford’s Reich went to Yale while the accordion player went to Oberlin.
edit to add, five days after publication: maybe I missed this point or it wasn’t announced per se, but Tin Hat has a new cd to be released on August 28 on Brookyln’s New Amsterdam Records, “The Rain Is A Handsome Animal….” new works set to the poetry of e.e. cummings, and Rob Reich plays on all tracks plus has three writing credits. Also: John Schaefer of WNYC previewed a track from this set in May, along with nine other poetry-music fusions from various artists.